03/06/2018, 12.00
SYRIA

Astana, new round of talks to stop the escalation of fighting in Syria

Next March 16, the Foreign Ministers of Ankara, Teheran and Moscow will meet. Parties involved in the conflict will not attend. The UN special envoy will participate as an observer. The goal is to find the "necessary measures" to guarantee a truce in the conflict. USA: the Turkish offensive on Afrin has weakened the fight against ISIS. 

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A new round of talks between representatives of Russia, Iran and Turkey is scheduled to take place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, to try to re-launch the peace process in Syria. Kazakh diplomacy specifies that this time, unlike past meetings, there will not be "observers" of the Damascus government and the oppositions involved in the war.

The meeting, at the level of foreign ministers, will however see the presence of the special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. The event is part of a context of renewed tension in the Arab country, where new hotbeds have recently flared up: the attention of international diplomacy is concentrated above all on the government army operations on Ghouta east, a rebel enclave on the outskirts of Damascus and in Afrin, in the north, where Turkey launched an offensive against the Kurdish militias YPG (People's Protection Unit).

At the end of February, the European Union had launched an appeal to Moscow, Teheran and Ankara to take "all the necessary measures to ensure that the fighting stops".

In the past, the meetings in Astana, during which Damascus and the rebels sat at the same table for the first time, proved to be more decisive than the diplomatic efforts promoted by the United Nations in Geneva (Switzerland). In one of these meetings, in May last year, the creation of "de-escalation" areas for the conflict included a cease-fire, the creation of no-fly zones, immediate supply of humanitarian aid and return of refugees.

This new round of meetings, like the previous ones, is sponsored by Russia and Iran close to the government of Damascus and by Turkey, the main supporter of the Syrian opposition. The representatives of the three governments will discuss "joint actions" to be taken in the immediate future and will analyze "the results" of this first year of "collaboration".

Meanwhile, the United States admits that the operations against the jihadist militias of the Islamic State (IS, ex Isis) in Syria have been abruptly interrupted. The Kurdish militias, part of the alliance that fights the jihadists, had to turn back to Afrin to repel the Turkish assault, effectively favoring the reorganization of the Caliphate fighters.

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